The Eagles defense held a drill to focus on blitz situations on Sunday morning. The Eagles worked in a variety of linebackers and defensive backs. One player to watch as the season develops in a blitzing role is strongside linebacker Mychal Kendricks.
After the draft, the Eagles noted his pass rush ability. In college, Kendricks had 13.5 sacks and 36.5 tackles for loss. Will the Eagles possibly blitz more in 2012? Last year, they blitzed 22.8 percent of the time on third down pass plays. That's not the league low, but it paled in comparison to other teams like the Ravens (51.4 percent), Packers (56.2 percent), Lions (31.9 percent) and the Giants (37.5 percent) just for a sample. Then again, the Eagles had 50 sacks, so it's not like pressure was exactly an issue.
Along the defensive line, defensive end Vinny Curry is not a one-trick pony when it comes to rushing the passer. He frustrated offensive tackle Dennis Kelly with a variety of pass rush moves. We'll see at Lehigh whether he's able to execute these moves against a veteran like Demetress Bell or King Dunlap, but he's not just going to fly off the edge.
Of the current Eagles, Fletcher Cox best resembles Cullen Jenkins in his style of play. That's why it makes sense that Cox is getting a lot of reps playing the 3-technique inside. However, Cox's athleticism and long frame with the ability to still grow and develop - he is only 21 years old - allows him to be more versatile. He saw reps at the 1-technique inside and has also played at end. Even though he's 6-4, 298 pounds, Cox could line up in the 9-technique, he's that athletic.
If Eagles fans haven't checked out Brandon Boykin's high school dunk YouTube clip, it's a must-watch. In practice Sunday morning, Boykin ran stride-for-stride with wide receiver Elvis Akpla with no safety help on one throw during the blitz drill. Boykin positioned his body to shield Akpla from getting to the ball and then Boykin launched himself and knocked the ball away with one hand. Boykin has also worked in the slot, which is a spot he played at Georgia.
Who knows if he'll make it past a tryout during this rookie camp, but former Temple cornerback Kee-Ayre Griffin recorded his second pick of the camp. The Eagles rushed six and quarterback Jacory Harris threw the ball to Akpla over the middle but it was high and Griffin came down with the interception. Griffin also broke up a deep pass from Nick Foles intended for wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad.
During the 7-on-7 drill, head coach Andy Reid was taking time behind the practice field to work specifically with running back Bryce Brown on proper footwork and spacing. Brown after practice acknowledged that the details are key in the NFL and in a timing offense, the littlest thing can throw a play off. Brown smiled when asked if it was a good thing that the head coach would be working exclusively with him. Brown also said he takes pride in catching the football, something he looks fluid at in these practices.
It's a shame that the defensive linemen can't sack the quarterback in these drills. During the team session, Moe Fountain charged behind Harris and had to stop in his tracks to avoid sacking Harris, who calmly dumped off the pass knowing he wasn't going to get clocked.
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